At SQLD Big Camp in 2019, and saw an ad for an Auslan workshop running, and it felt like a ‘God thing’ because I had been praying for opportunities to get more involved with this ministry. I had friends who knew were part of the Deaf community and began learning their language from them. And after that workshop I have been learning Auslan (Australian Sign Language) for many years now.

I went along to these workshops, had an amazing time, and was introduced to some of the leaders of CSFBHI, Deaf Church Down Under, and some members of the Deaf community in our church. I have continued to grow in my fluency in Auslan after this catalyst point with both personal and certified learning.

I wanted to give others the opportunity to have a similar experience, so, in collaboration with the leaders I met four years ago, I have organised for qualified Auslan teachers to come and teach basic Auslan and Deaf culture during our workshops.

Auslan is a language used across Australia by the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community and is in dire need of more signers. Our workshop can be your first introductory step into a career as an Auslan interpreter, a teacher of the Deaf, and much more! If it is not work you want, I have gained so many amazing friends within this community and have found a love and passion within this beautiful language. I have also found Auslan to be useful in day-to-day life from counting as high as I need on one hand, to being able to tell stories and explain myself in a much more engaging and inclusive way.

In terms of ministry, the Deaf community is one of the most unreached groups for the SDA church. When was the last time you went to a service or program where a person who cannot hear would have been able to enjoy and participate? This is the reality of many people. If we made our churches accessible and welcoming, we can spread the gospel and the SDA message to many more people. While the amount of Auslan users is relatively low compared to spoken languages, 1 in 3 Australians have hearing loss and struggle hearing unassisted. If more people signed, we would be able to help keep that line of communication and connection going.

So please come along to our workshops with Just Auslan on the 18th, 20th, and 21st of September from 2:30-3:30pm in the NCC classrooms opposite the Watson Park Convention Centre on 337 Old Gympie RD, Dakabin. The email to register is below and we would greatly appreciate it if you sign-up so we can meet the requirements with our providers, however, you can also show up on the day if you miss the registration time. Email: [email protected]

Come and meet me at the Auslan workshops, my name is Jenaya Lewis